The group is open to all; this church, any church, no church.
Our usual January walk will be about 9 miles on Friday, 11th, please meet at 10:00 hrs at the recently refurbished Great Western Public House, Pound Pill, Corsham, SN13 9JA. Permission kindly given for parking. At lunchtime may I suggest that we avail ourselves of the catering and facilities at The Toast Office Cafe, anyone not wishing to do so can use their outdoor seating area.
(Click or double click on the pictures to enlarge)
NEW YEAR’S DAY 2019
A bright and frosty day gave almost perfect walking weather for the fourteen walkers who set out on our 5 mile December walk from The Bell Inn, Lacock to Queenfield, Spye Park and Bowden Hill. Sixteen of us then enjoyed an excellent Christmas lunch at The Bell.
Some gorgeous autumn colours still lingered on our 9 mile November walk, though it was a ‘coats on and off again’ sort of day as sunshine and showers accompanied the 11 walkers. Our route took us from Box to Henley, South Wraxall, Lower Wraxall, Monkton Farliegh and Kingsdown.
Twelve of us set out from Marshfield on our 8 mile September walk led by Charles Todd in the torrential rain and high winds brought by Storm Callum. The oft quoted phrase “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing” came to mind. A fine choice of route took us into the beautiful St Catherine’s valley, then up to Cold Ashton where the views got even better, the wind got stronger and Holy Trinity church gave us some respite for lunch. Back at Marshfield a contented group gathered in The Catherine Wheel, clearly we had been wearing the ‘right’ clothing!
Damp photos, courtesy of Kevin, thank you
The September walk saw us striding twelve and a half miles as we took on the ‘Stride’ element of ‘Ride and Stride’. It was a pleasure to be walking on a dry, bright and breezy day as our route took us from St Bart’s to the Monks Chapel in Chapel Lane, St Philip’s and St James’, Neston, Thomas a’ Becket, Box and St Aldhelm’s in Pickwick Road, enjoying their hospitality along the way. We returned to St Bart’s where Pat Craddock and Maureen Thackeray were waiting with a wide choice of home made calories and carbohydrates.
A huge thank you to all who took part, your energy and generosity raised £170.00 which has been gratefully received by Nigel Jackson, our local R&S organiser, for donation to the Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust. An excellent effort, thank you and well done everyone!
Thirteen slightly unlucky walkers witnessed the end of the dry spell at first hand as we set out from Lacock in heavy rain on our 9 mile August walk. We followed the River Avon past Lackham College, Plucking Grove and Rowden Manor to Chippenham, lunching in the Market Place. Although an unaccustomed urban environment the amenities were more civilised than usual! We resumed to the river bank under sunny skies before meeting the Wilts and Berks canal at Pewsham Locks, which delivered us to the river once more and a return to Lacock for refreshments in the village.
Our 9 mile July walk started in Castle Combe, then followed a route to Nettleton Shrub through the lovely Broadmead Valley to West Kington Wick. Temperatures were in the high twenties and the thirteen walkers were grateful for every bit of shade, both along the way and at lunch time in the tranquil church yard of St. James the Great at North Wraxall. Our return route took us to Truckle Hill, before we followed the Broadmead Brook back to Castle Combe and welcome refreshment at the White Hart.
Although we did not have a walk of our own in June, several of our walkers were involved with another very successful Corsham Walking Festival. Nor had we been idle in May, some of us enjoying a week of glorious walking in good company on the tenth annual Corsham Wanderers expedition to the Lake District. Thanks to Nigel Jackson for some Lake District photos.
A cloudy, breezy day gave ideal walking conditions for 10 walkers on our 7 mile May walk. Starting at Gastard we made our way to The Ridge, then to Whitley where we stopped at The Toast Office for a sociable coffee and cake. On then to Catridge via Watery Lane which this winter has been variously Icy Lane or Flooded Lane but was now a mere trickle of its former self. Lunch was taken with good views of the Wiltshire countryside before returning to Gastard via Sandpits and Thingley Bridge for refreshment at The Harp and Crown.
Ten walkers set out from Lower Westwood on our 9 mile April amble, the difficult conditions under foot a reminder of how wet the winter and spring had been so far. The Kennet and Avon canal was followed to Bradford on Avon where the impressive 14th century monastic Tithe Barn was visited, then resuming along the canal to the almost equally impressive 1805 Avoncliffe Aqueduct. Lunch was taken at Freshford before passing Iford Manor to return to Lower Westwood and refreshment at The New Inn.
Spring seemed to have sprung as 9 walkers left Biddestone on our 8 mile March walk to Castle Combe via Giddea Hall, Long Dean and West Yatton. Lunch was taken on the Market Cross at Castle Combe, always a good spot to pause and watch the world go by. On our return route through Ford, Toplands and Ham Lane we were reminded by the remaining snow drifts that it was less than a week since the heavy snowfall.
Leaving Bathford in a February shower of snow and sleet 17 walkers made their way across Bathampton Meadows to the Kennet and Avon canal. We then climbed steeply and emerged into a keen wind on Bathampton Down, skirting the university campus and crossing Claverton Down. From Brassnocker we dropped to the Dundas Aqueduct for lunch alongside the canal, which we then followed under blue skies for most of our return journey to Bathford and refreshment at The Crown.
It could be said that, in many respects, last year was not a walk in the park, neither was our first meeting of the new year for the 23 walkers setting out from the Hare and Hounds on New Year’s Day, bound for Slaughterford and Colerne. A period of heavy rain, an 11 mile route with 1249 feet of ascent, mud and floods kept us all entertained. Nevertheless we were still in good spirits back at the H&H for the post walk inquest and some refreshment.
On 12th January we were off again, starting from Marshfield and heading north on a ten mile route through the villages of West Littleton and West Kington. This time a group of 10 walkers found the weather and the terrain to be a little kinder but at the finish were pleased to be by the fireside at the Catherine Wheel public house.